Minor enrollment increase seen

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Though, on average, student enrollment in Charlotte County Public Schools continues to decline, this year has seen a very slight increase.

According to information compiled by the division, there has been an almost 14 percent decrease in enrollment from 2007 to the current school year.

This school year is the only one that’s seen an increase since 2007 — a mere 0.15 percent more than the previous year.

According to Division Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard, currently average daily membership (ADM), or the number of students attending public schools daily in the county, is at 1,822.72. She said the most updated attendance numbers would not be reported to the Virginia Department of Education until March 31.

Leonard said most rural localities in Virginia are facing declining enrollment.

“Typically, I hear that families are moving to more urban areas in search of job opportunities and young families are not coming home to settle because of limited job opportunities here,” Leonard said.

She noted declining enrollments in rural school divisions “are occurring across Virginia.”

In regards to state funding, given the enrollment decrease, Leonard said the rule of thumb when calculating ADM is to figure the school division is allocated $11,000 for each student.

“So, take $11,000 away from the revenue for each student lost,” Leonard said. “It certainly adds up.”

The difference between the 2006-07 school year and the current school year in ADM is approximately 296.32 students.

Using the $11,000 per student lost on average since 2007, the division has lost an estimated $3.25 million in state funding over the last 10 years.

In the division’s current fiscal year budget, state funds total about $13.2 million.